NHL Power Rankings: From Predators to Kings, the one thing every team needs to fix
Nashville remains No. 1, but plenty of other teams are on the move this week
In a season with 82 games, problems are bound to surface.
You don't play half a year's worth of hockey, after all, without realizing you've got some flaws. Heck, even the best of the best can come crashing down in the NHL, where past Presidents' Trophy winners, like the 2016-17 Washington Capitals or 2017-18 Nashville Predators, have failed to live up to their playoff expectations despite dominating the regular schedule.
A month and a half into the 2018-19 campaign, problems are readily observable across the league.
A handful of teams, like those Predators and their Western Conference rivals, the Minnesota Wild, aren't showing a whole lot of them at this time. In fact, their biggest problems might be just figuring out how to sustain their current success. But then there are others, like the Los Angeles Kings, who have issues so abundant that the solution is painfully simple: Burn it to the ground.
In this week's edition of NHL Power Rankings, we've not only taken stock of every team but offered one thing each of the 31 clubs could stand to fix as we hit mid-November. Along the way, you'll notice big jumps for the Wild and the hot Buffalo Sabres among others:
|1||Predators||We're tempted to just go with "nothing." Because they're just so, so deep and so, so good. But if we're nitpicking, they could do a little better at home, where they're usually more dominant.||--||47-29|
|2||Lightning||Get Victor Hedman back. They've been just fine without him, but to overtake Nashville here, they could use a boost.||--||62-16|
|3||Wild||Get more shots on goal. Simple, yes, and they've surprised regardless of their middling scoring rates, but more attempts would benefit them down the road.||2||37-36|
|4||Bruins||Bring the production on the road. You don't snap your fingers to fix this, but even a slightly above-average output away from home would have them threatening the Lightning.||4||49-24|
|5||Jets||Stay disciplined. Penalties have hurt them this month, setting up more shots against an improved Connor Hellebuyck.||1||47-30|
|6||Maple Leafs||Get Auston Matthews back. Seriously, though, how else are they to finally beat someone like the Bruins on a consistent basis?||3||46-28|
|7||Canadiens||Keep Carey Price on track. How they remain in the top 10 is kind of beyond us, just from a preseason expectations standpoint. But Price's play in the net is pivotal.||2||44-30|
|8||Sabres||Find a better division? The serious answer is probably just ensuring that Jeff Skinner doesn't become their sole offensive star, but Buffalo would really benefit from not having to deal with Boston and Tampa Bay all year.||11||33-39|
|9||Avalanche||Cut down on the turnovers and execute. There's no reason, with their talent, they should've dropped five in a row.||5||38-30|
|10||Canucks||Find several people who can play defense and goalie. Elias Petterson is the bomb, but come on. Their shot differential could use some work, too.||4||35-36|
|11||Sharks||Witness an Erik Karlsson goal. That seems like something that could light a spark.||--||46-27|
|12||Blue Jackets||Have Sergei Bobrovsky go back in time.||10||47-31|
|13||Flames||Find a way to get James Neal going. And coach up Mike Smith to be strong as a backup.||1||50-25|
|14||Stars||Get more production from the big guns. Easier said than done, but they should be better than 19th in the NHL in goals scored.||1||43-32|
|15||Islanders||Possess the puck! Barry Trotz can't coach this group out of bottom-of-the-barrel shot and goal numbers.||8||48-27|
|16||Rangers||Finish earlier. The hot start has been a pleasant surprise, but you can't always bank on overtime swinging your way.||5||32-36|
|17||Flyers||Find a steady goalie. This team is so enigmatic it's not even funny. They can rip off amazing stretches. But the net play has to be consistent, and we've been saying that for years.||8||37-37|
|18||Penguins||Wake up? Look at the names on this roster. They need to get back to being comfortable with each other. Oh, and start winning at home.||8||44-26|
|19||Coyotes||Spread out the shots. They're doing way better than expected, but they need some more "scoring stamina," if you will.||4||39-35|
|20||Capitals||Get more from Evgeny Kuznetsov in five-on-five. And maybe look a little more inspired, like you won the Stanley Cup or something.||2||48-26|
|21||Hurricanes||Just help out Sebastian Aho, would you?||1||46-29|
|22||Oilers||Where do we start? Here's an idea: Go out and find Connor McDavid the forward help and relief he's needed for two years.||5||35-38|
|23||Panthers||Erase the first month of the season? They are on a roll now. If only they could redo their start.||4||36-32|
|24||Blues||Take a timeout and think about what's happening in goal.||2||45-28|
|25||Red Wings||Shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Somehow, some way, they had a great week despite an awful differential. That can't last.||5||32-40|
|26||Senators||Keep on calling up prospects, we guess. Between drama and dysfunction, there's not a whole lot of quick fixes here.||2||29-47|
|27||Devils||Usher in Keith Kinkaid's move out of the net.||11||31-41|
|28||Ducks||Practice offense or something. They're racking up the shots on goal but rarely connecting. A promising start has gone sour in a hurry.||4||35-37|
|29||Golden Knights||Figure out the goalie situation. Is Malcolm Subban worth anything? Can Marc-Andre Fleury last another season?||6||43-32|
|30||Blackhawks||Shed salaries, maybe. This team is obviously rebuilding, so it might as well go all in.||1||36-34|
|31||Kings||Blow it up. Blow it all up.||--||31-42|
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